We Will Rock You London

Monday 24 October 2011

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What song will you be looking forward to? We Will Rock You London has been entertaining West End theatregoers for years with its unique futuristic story paired with classic Queen hits. It's no wonder the show has become such a hit with such unforgettable anthems - in fact audiences members have been known to get on their feet and sometimes spill into the aisles as the stage show whips them into a frenzy. The songs that support the show have pervaded society in their original forms, by their use in advertising campaigns and tv programmes, to covers and samples by other artists. Such is the magnitude of the Queen brand that everyone can hum along to a few of the songs whether they think they like the band or not. This has aided the show's longevity, particularly with the large number of audience members for whom English may not be their first language.

Queen have been an iconic band ever since they exploded onto the music scene in the 1970s. Lady GaGa, arguably the world's biggest music star right now, was named due to singer Stefanie Germanotta's salute to Queen's fist in the air anthem Radio Ga Ga, a worldwide 1984 smash hitting number one in nineteen countries. "I adored Freddie Mercury and Queen had a hit called 'Radio Gaga'. That's why I love the name" she has said. The song was covered by band Electric Six amongst others, who had hits with Danger High Voltage! and Gay Bar. Radio Ga Ga is the name of radio stations and shows in Romania, Australia and Slovenia as well as being a Norwegian cartoon and a Malaysian TV comedy series.

The 1977 title song from the show was covered by UK pop group 5ive in 2000, hitting number one, and was heavily used during most series of brawn versus brawn TV show Gladiators. Who can forget the oversize hands with pointing fingers being waved by the arena's audience as that song and another Queen classic Another One Bites The Dust pounded in the background? A 2003 remix of the song by KCPK featuring children's vocals was used in an animated advertising campaign for Evian in France, Germany and Belgium, charting in some territories. Soft drinks giant Pepsi ran a successful gladiator themed campaign featuring Britney Spears, Beyonce and P!nk in 2004, using the song as they entered the arena dressed as gladiators readying for battle. Rapper Eminem has sampled the song's signature stomp clap beat on not one but three of his tracks. It also underpins recent Lady GaGa hit You and I, as well as Katy Perry's E.T.

The unforgettable drag-themed video for I Want To Break Free helped both Queen's popularity…and notoriety…in 1983 . The video's concept was suggested by drummer Roger Taylor and was a homage to long-running soap Coronation Street. Widespread critical acclaim of the video led to the song becoming a top three hit in the UK and helped win the band fans overseas - in South America it was regarded as an anthem in the fight against oppression. In North America however the video was seen as too controversial and was banned by many tv stations including MTV.

Bohemian Rhapsody is arguably Queen's signature song, selling over a million copies on first release in 1975 in the UK, and returning to the top of the charts following Freddie Mercury's death in 1991, eventually becoming the UK's third biggest selling single. After featuring in hit film Wayne's World in 1992 the song beat its previous peak of number nine in the US charts, hitting the number two spot. A new video for the track had been shot using Mike Myers and Dana Carvey's characters from the film. This video went on to win Queen their only MTV Video Music Award, for Best Video In A Film. Accepting the award onstage along with Roger Taylor, guitarist Brian May was overcome with emotion, saying "Freddie would be tickled".

Other hits included in the show include Under Pressure, We Are The Champions, Somebody To Love and Don't Stop Me Now. With a catalogue of songs as broad as Queen's, We Will Rock You London certainly offers something for everyone.

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